Agronomic and economic evaluation of Sesbania rostrata green manure establishment in irrigated rice uri icon

abstract

  • Grain yield potential and fertilizer responsiveness of rice was generally highest in the dry season. On the other hand, S. rostrata growth was more vigorous in the wet season (long-day period) than in the dry season, regardless of establishment method. Green manure N accumulation was lowest with zero tillage (30 and 90 kg N/ha in dry and wet season, respectively) and highest when it was relay-cropped for two weeks (60 and 180 kg N/ha in dry and wet season, respectively). Land preparation for Sesbania ensured best green manure stand (> 100 plants/m(2) vs 20-40 plants/m(2) at no-till establishments) but increased costs of green manuring by US$I6/ha compared with other establishment methods. A quadratic response function between mineral fertilizer equivalence and green manure N indicated that up to 75 kg N/ha, lowland rice uses green manure N more efficiently than urea. Depending on season and establishment method, S. rostrata substituted for 35 to 90 kg of split-applied urea N. Benefit-cost ratios indicated that pre-rice green manure use in the wet season under the current fertilizer and labor prices in the Philippines was a less attractive economic option than mineral N fertilizer. This was true for all establishment methods. In the dry season, S. rostrata established by relay cropping gave the highest rate of return. The 2-week relay cropping of green manure with irrigated rice gave highest green manure N accumulation and rice grain yield, and may be economically viable where fertilizer prices are higher or labor costs are lower than in the Philippines.
  • Research on crop establishment methods may improve green manure performance, reduce costs, and increase the adaptability of pre-rice green manure technology in lowland rice-based cropping systems. A two-season field experiment was conducted at the international Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Philippines in 1991-1992 to compare four establishment practices of Sesbania rostrata green manure (zero tillage, with tillage, relay cropping in rice for 2 or 4 weeks) with four mineral N fertilizer levels (0, 30, 60, and 90 kg urea N/ha) in an intensive irrigated lowland system with three rice crops per year. S. rostrata was grown twice a year during the 43-day dry-wet and wet-dry transition periods between the wet and dry season rice crops.

publication date

  • 1995
  • 1995
  • 1995